From the [Philadelphia] General Advertiser, Wednesday, March 14, 1792 (Number 455)
Are the motley breed of landholders, gentlemen adventurers, parsimonious merchants, factors, clerks, managers, and plantation-overseers from Europe. The progenitors of this yellow tribe were generally persons who came out from France and other parts of Europe, to make fortunes rapidly, return, and spend them under their native skies. During their stay in this delightful island, the pursuits of avarice were not sufficiently powerful to restrain them wholly from more natural pursuits. No immediate objects of gratification presented but the enslaved African female, who was therefore adopted vice spousa, and while she planted sugar canes on the mountain, or attended a herd of goats in the valley, contributed to people the island with a progeny, who were neither European or African, and felt no attachment to either, further than the interest or the more immediate prospect of advantage dictated.
Natural affection had still some influence where united paternal fondness had been rendered extremely weak from the unequal condition of the progenitors. Mulattoes were generally excused from the labors of the field. They were housekeepers, and clerks; they were houseboys, and poultry men; they were waiters at tables and taverns: they were fishermen, cooks, and turnspits; they were even bound out to mechanical trades, and in the general everything in the line of domestic employment, except field slaves, who are reckoned one of the most degraded classes in the islands, and absolutely placed on a level with the mules that turn the cattle mills.
Many of these mulattoes of promising parts, had an education bestowed on them by no means despicable. They could read and write, and had some acquaintance with figures. Education always engenders discontent, where there is no equality of condition. In consequence of acquired knowledge, they have for half a century past been aspiring to equal privileges with the whites; and we have seen, within these two years, that rather than not enjoy them, they allied themselves to the blacks, whom they heretofore held in contempt and have carried fire and sword to the territories of the white inhabitants.
There is every reason to suppose from the present example of their enormities, that the future condition of the mulattoes in the islands will be changed for the worse, as every European government will find its interest in restricting them (especially if the general prohibition of the slave trade should take place) to a situation that will not afford the same opportunities as heretofore, for exciting and aiding the insurrection of the blacks or corresponding with the Spaniards.
Perhaps such steps (the equalizing the condition of the mulattoes and the negroes) might be attended with some advantages. The islands have not hitherto been considered as fixed and ultimate places of residence for the generality of the whites. It was only (as observed above) to make a fortune in a few years and away, that they seem to have sailed thither at all, and if they retained real estates, for the most part they enjoyed the revenues in Europe. This conduct has ever been encouraged by the colonizing countries in Europe, as it secured colonial dependence. When once the colonial whites began to consider the West Indies as their only proper home, a legitimate offspring of their own grade will ensue, who may in time, as has happened on this continent, render some of the insular government independent of European supremacy; and grant those natural rights of man to the Negroes and mulattoes which they will in vain look for from the Justice, the humanity, or the philosophy of Europe.”
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